HAMPTON — It's official.
During Friday's 53-48 state tournament win over Veterans, Kamera Harris blocked 28 shots, besting a national record of 25 set by former Baylor and current WNBA star Brittney Griner back in 2008 when she was a senior at Nimitz High School in Houston, Texas.
Dutchtown coach April Tate confirmed it Saturday after reviewing the game.
"After hearing all the talk about this, I figured I'd better watch the film of the game and make sure we can document it all," Tate said. "Kamera is a tremendous shot blocker, and we're proud of the achievement. I think that this kind of success is really a testament to what we're trying to do at Dutchtown, and this just shows Kamera is one of those who has bought in to what we're trying to do."
Harris said she had no idea how many blocks she had, or what the record was coming into the game. But after the win, there was no shortage of people rushing to let her know.
“Dominique Clune, who played here last year, was the first person to come up and tell me about it,” Harris said. “She came into the locker room and just looked at me for a while, and said to me, ‘25 blocks.’” I thought she was just playing at first until everybody started coming up to me saying the same thing."
But the final official count revealed 28, plus, according to Tate, "three or four more that could've gone either way."
In the midst of the game, though, nobody on the team really had any idea of the kind of night Harris was having. They were too busy trying to win their first state tournament game under Tate.
“It’s not like you count your blocks or anything like that while you’re playing in the game because you're just trying to win," she said. "So I had no idea until they told me.”
Tate said she was somewhat surprised that Veterans kept attacking the lane with Harris standing there to clog it up. Tate believes that Veterans' strategy was to get Harris in foul trouble. And it did, as Harris would foul out with three minutes remaining in the game.
But by then, Harris' defensive domination had already been well documented.
"I did kind of wonder after a while why they kept taking it straight to her instead of trying to get her to move her feet," she said. "But in a way, I was hoping they would keep going. We know that if it's five times they take it into the lane, four out of five times it's going to be a blocked shot."
Which means the shot blocking prowess of the 6-foot-2 inch Harris is nothing new for those who have watched her closely this season, as she had been swatting shots at an almost seven blocks per game clip before Friday.
Ironically, Harris’ favorite player is the one who’s record she may have broken. Harris said she once waited several hours after a game to track down Griner to get her autograph on one of her posters.
Now she has claimed one of her records.
When she found out the new record had been confirmed, she revealed her shock via Twitter.
"OMG. I have no words," Harris tweeted Saturday evening.
Harris had already started receiving recruiting attention from several Division I schools before setting the record, and more buzz is sure to follow. But Tate says that Harris is one person who she is sure will not allow this recent success to go to her head.
"Kamera is very much an even-keeled individual," Tate said. "She's kind of our X-factor, because she's so unassuming. Nobody expects 28 blocks out of her until it's too late.
"The best thing about it is she's just a sophomore, which means the sky really is the limit for her. If she continues to put in the work, effort and dedication, there's no telling how high she'll reach."